That Bitch who said Faggot

It was a full room, as it is most nights at this venue, but the crowd was not very quiet or respectful of the comics. They were loud, and chatty, and rude. At the time, whenever I had a rude, chatty, and loud crowd I would start my set with something abrupt to get them to shut up, and when I had their attention I would move from there. In theory this is a good tactic, but my joke on this night was night the right way to go about it. It was the middle of the summer in a stuffy basement, and I opened my set with, “I know I’m hot the same way I know I’m drunk, I start calling random people faggot.” It’s gotten laughs before, even in this room, but not on this night. It worked, oh it worked. They were listening, they were quiet, and boy did they hate me. I trudged through my set to radio silence, walked off the stage and felt promptly like shit. I ordered a half priced burger and sat in the back, and who needs ketchup when you have tears to add flavor to your meat.

About an hour after my set, it becomes clear to me that this crowd is loud and shitty and disrespectful because they are only there to see their friend, a guy who’d only been onstage once or twice, so he went way at the end of the show, and they were getting very impatient. Oh, and he is a prominent gay guy in the community. He gets onstage and proceeds to tear me apart. I’m pretty sure he abandoned any material he had pored over to make sure this entire room of his friends hated my guts.

“Is that bitch that said faggot still here? what an unfunny cunt, RIGHT ROOM FULL OF MY FRIENDS?”

The room explodes with applause, because yes that bitch was an unfunny cunt, how right you are my good sir.

I lift my head from my burger of sadness as if to say, yes I’m still here.

I let him do it. I let him use his time on the mic to talk about how terrible I was, and how dare I use such an offensive word and hurt him. I guess he doesn’t realize that ripping someone to pieces onstage like that is just as hurtful and offensive, but I’m not going to heckle the guy while he heckles me from the stage when the room is on his side. What I did do is oh so much worse.

I waited until the show was over. I went up to him and said yes I’m still here. Yes I said that but I wasn’t saying that word to you, and that you were also offensive. I said that this just an open mic, a place where we go to try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. He told me to be funnier, I told him to be nicer.

Or at least that’s what I planned to say to him before I walked up to him. I believe it went something closer to “you fucking asshole, you think you’re so much better than me blah blah blah. I have plenty of gay friends blah blah blah”

“I have plenty of gay friends?!” Really?! That’s what a racist person says about having plenty of black friends when they are trying not to sound racist!

I left the show very upset, too traumatized to go back there for some time. I was afraid to see this guy or any of his friends there again, and I haven’t done this room since, only partially by choice.

Should I have said that word onstage? Probably not. Did I mean it offensively? Definitely not. Should I be allowed to say any word that I want onstage in the name of funny? Definitely. But the rule is this: If you have the nerve and the wit to say it onstage, you have to have the resolve to back it up when someone calls you that bitch who said faggot.

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